Saturday, April 30, 1864

Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Field, Chattanooga, April 30, 1864; 6.30 p.m.

General Grant, Culpeper:

I have news from Atlanta 24th and Dalton 27th. Some of Polk’s troops have arrived. By the 5th all of Thomas’ and Schofield’s troops will be within one march of Dalton, and I doubt not McPherson will be on time. All things working as smoothly as I could expect.

Rosecrans holds some of the Memphis dismounted cavalry to guard against some secret plot in Saint Louis. I think the city police and militia could attend to all such machinations and leave us all our troops at this critical time.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

I will bring my troops up rapidly from the rear. Dodge’s 10,000 will move by rail to the front. Every one is in motion now. We will be ready to move on May 5.

Thomas is building gunboats on the Tennessee River. One is complete and the others almost reading. I have requested the Navy send officers and engineers to man the boats and patrol the river. This will keep the rebels at bay and free more troops for the offensive movements.

Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Field, Chattanooga, April 30, 1864

Captain Pennock, U. S. Navy, Cairo, Illinois:

One gun-boat is now done, and three more are nearly ready. If the admiral can send us commanders, petty officers, and engineers we can undertake to supply here the crews. We also can supply provisions and all material; also guns and ammunition of army pattern. I want the river above Muscle Shoals patrolled as soon as possible, as it will set free one local garrison.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Supplies are most important to our success. This army cannot be supported from the countryside until we make progress to the south. The War Department has not given me the control of supply that I want. I will make do.

Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi, In the Field, Chattanooga, April 30, 1864

General Allen, Chief Quartermaster, Louisville:

At last, after I have started to open a desperate campaign, the Secretary of War denies me the services of a chief quartern!aster. Well, I must do the best I can with you at Louisville. Donaldson at Nashville, and Easton here. The confusion in the wagons of Memphis illustrates how important it is I should have a chief near me. One division of white troops will remain at Vicksburg, one division at Memphis; all others will come to this quarter. All wagons, mules, and horses should take the same general course. Wagons, mules, and horses can best reach us here via Clifton and the Tennessee River, as long as the two divisions rendezvousing at Cairo are coming that way as escort.

All the furloughs are out, and these troops should now be all en route. After they have come the way will be safest from Louisville to Nashville. &c. Events won’t wait for me to be alll ready, but I must act when others are ready.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major- General

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